Houston is rocking at the moment. James Harden and Chris Paul are playing extraordinarily basketball, the team has followed their lead, and everything seems to be clicking. Nothing to worry about right? Well there are a few things that could derail the path the team seems to be on.
Here are three things to watch out for.
This team is on its path to something special, but they haven’t accomplished anything yet. With the Golden State Warriors still in the picture, there is no room for anything less than 100 percent effort in every game. As the Washington Wizards have shown, overconfidence can hinder a team’s growth.
The Houston Rockets might be the best team at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best they can be. Each and every game should be played with a chip on the shoulder, no holding back. Chemistry can only be improved and the more the team plays to its full potential, the more accustomed it will become playing at that high level.
This issue is all mental, and as long a Coach Mike D’Antoni and the leaders on this team keep pushing themselves, the rest of the team will follow.
Peaking too early
This one is the responsibility of the coaching staff. As the Warriors showed a couple of seasons ago, sometimes a team can peak too early.
Golden State had its eyes on the regular season record, and it caught up to them in the playoffs. The team suffered down the stretch as Stephen Curry had trouble recovering from injury. The team played itself to the ground and it showed when they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers when up three games to one.
The Rockets have been suffering a few injuries these past few months, but the team’s depth have covered up the absences. The coaching staff will have to ensure the team is at its peak both physically and mentally when playoff time comes.
Ensuring Paul and Harden are at optimal levels in the closing stages of the season will be especially crucial, but the team as a whole will need to be right there with them.
Don’t stop having fun
This team is enjoying playing together. The togetherness is transparent with posted pictures of the team celebrating after a win and no signs of issues in the locker room. With the Cavs having multiple problems within the team, it showed on the court.
As long as the wins keep coming, there is no reason for problems to arise. It is when adversity hits, which no team is immune too, that things start to heat up but with a fun style of play and a playful leader in Harden, this team should be able to stay together no matter what the circumstances are.
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